Police Forces and Diversity 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

That is very important for the people who are trying to get these kinds of jobs, because they have the chance to find a company that believes in them and that is actually looking for people who are not the same as everyone else. That can make a huge difference not only in whether the person gets hired, but also whether he or she is successful in the position and whether there are realistic opportunities for promotion (Tatli & Ozbilgin, 2009).

The third company type, the multicultural organization, has a number of different kinds of people and groups within it (Harvey, 2012). These companies want people who are diverse, and will deliberately seek them out, hire them, and encourage them. One of the reasons behind this is because people who own and manage these types of companies know that a more culturally diverse workforce can mean a number of new ideas that would not otherwise be seen (Harvey, 2012). Thinking outside of the box can be a highly significant way for individuals to operate companies and bring success to them. That is true whether the person is the manager, or only an employee. If everyone is the same, groupthink is often the outcome (Harvey, 2012). Naturally, that is not good for any organization, because it does not allow the company to grow. There are no new ideas, and every person in the company thinks the same way and says the same things. In multicultural companies this does not happen. People from different cultures and races look at problems differently, and come up with unique solutions (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010; Harvey, 2012).

That can create rivalry and arguments, but a certain level of that is a good thing. People are more likely to keep the company moving forward with their interesting ideas (Allen, 1995). When companies are able to move forward because of unique and different ideas, they are also able to stay ahead of competitors that are not as multicultural in their approach to things. This can and should be pointed out, because it means that a company that is focused on multiculturalism has a benefit that other companies like it do not have if those other companies are hiring people who are just like everyone else in the company (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010). While the temptation to do that can be understood because like attracts like, it is vital that any company that wants to grow and develop focuses on more multicultural and diverse options when hiring employees (Brownell, 2003). This can also have a direct affect on how the company relates to its clients and customers, as those people will likely be very diverse in nature (Allen, 1995).

Among the reasons why more diverse businesses are so successful, is the way leadership is addressed. There are a number of different leadership theories, all of which have changed throughout time. As these theories have evolved, the people who use them have also evolved. They have seen the value of diversity in the workplace, and how that also helps when dealing with the public (Miliken, Morrison, & Hewlin, 2003). As they see that, they begin to adjust the way they lead. When leading people who are all very similar, there is one way in which it should be done. However, when a person has the opportunity to lead a group that is very multicultural and diverse, the ways in which that leadership is handled need to be very different -- just like the people (Tatli & Ozbilgin, 2009). It can be challenging to find a leadership style that everyone can relate to, but doing so is certainly possible. One of the most common ways of doing that is to offer transformational leadership. This is also sometimes called servant leadership, and is designed to bring everyone in the group together for the common good, instead of simply giving orders (Tatli & Ozbilgin, 2009).

When people feel as though they are part of a team, they are more likely to work harder for the company (Fine, 1996; Page, 2007). That translates to nearly every culture and ethnicity, and is something that the vast majority of people can get behind. When leaders make everyone feel valued for their contributions and for their differences, those leaders are on the right track toward making sure each person in the organization is going to work hard and be appreciative of what he or she has (Mumby, 1988). This can make those who work in a multicultural organization very committed to what they are doing, and also to what they are getting in return. While there are challenges to this type of organization and the type of leadership, there are also a high number of benefits offered that can and should be carefully considered. Not every company may work better as a diverse company, but most of them will -- and that is especially important for companies that deal with a diverse public.

The benefits of a culturally diverse organization include higher levels of problem solving and better decision making (Tatli & Ozbilgin, 2009). These claims have been disregarded by some, who have attempted to discredit them. However, companies that employ diverse groups of people do state that having different opinions helps the company when it comes to determining what the right course of action is (Brownell, 2003; Miliken, Morrison, & Hewlin, 2003). Because groupthink is not as much of a problem for companies that are interested in diversity, it is more likely that these companies will consider a number of different options for finding the right solution (Allen, 1995). They will hear from people with different thoughts and ideas, and that can lead them to consider solutions that they never would have thought of otherwise. Another thing this can do is keep these companies ahead of their competition, because they will find that competitors who do not have diverse workforces are not as strong when it comes to creative and unique solutions to issues (Harvey, 2012). In short, companies that have diverse workforces are able to change and adapt more quickly.

Both marketing the product or service offered by the company and developing that product or service can be improved when there is more diversity throughout a company (Mumby, 1988). The ideas and suggestions that come in regarding these two areas are unique and different, and they can often cause conflict. That conflict is actually a good thing, because it forces people to think outside of the box and look at the situation in a way that they would not normally consider (Fine, 1996). By doing that, they are better able to find new and different ways that the company can market its product or offer its service. Since the market for a number of products and services is becoming much more global and dynamic, it is vital that any company wishing to remain competitive have people who show that global diversity (Eisenberg, Goodall, & Trethewey, 2010). That can make customers and clients much more comfortable, and help the business land important accounts with people in other cultures and areas of the world. Making customers and clients comfortable goes a very long way toward earning their business (Page, 2007).

Diversity in these types of companies is recognized and appreciated. It is not something that is downplayed or that is ignored. When an employee sees that his or her diversity is important to the company, and that it is valued along with other traits, that employee is much more likely to feel good about his or her job. That, in turn, can cause that employee to want to work harder and do more for the company (Harvey, 2012; Miliken, Morrison, & Hewlin, 2003). The loyalty is important, since it provides both the employee and the company with a lot of value that might not otherwise be seen. When employees are loyal to the companies for which they work, it is easier for those employees to offer value to the company (Allen, 1995). It is also easier for the company to ask for more from the employee, and to get more work out of the people who see their importance with the organization (Fine, 1996). Because this is so significant, the benefits of having a diverse group of individuals in any organization is not something that can be realistically and logically overlooked. Unfortunately, many companies still avoid diversity, even though it has already been shown numerous times that they can benefit from it.

There are, of course, challenges that have to be considered when working with a very diverse group of individuals. Not everything will be perfect, and there are some risks to hiring a group of people who really have very little in common. There will generally still be a dominant group. In the United States, that is most often white males. However, it is also possible that it is a different group. Regardless, one group will have more members than the others, and that…

Sources Used in Document:


Allen, B.J. (1995). Diversity and organizational communication. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 23: 143 -- 155.

Brownell, J. (2003). Developing receiver-centered communication in diverse organizations. Listening Professional, 2(1), 5-25.

Cockburn, C. (1989). Equal opportunities: The short and long agenda. Industrial Relations Journal, 20(3): 213-225.

Eisenberg, E.M., Goodall, H.L., Jr. & Trethewey, a. (2010). Organizational communication (6th ed.). St. Martin's: Bedford.

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